Product Design

Mobile App Quality Assurance

Mobile devices have already replaced a considerable number of instruments and gadgets through apps. Trends show that functionality and entertainment will continue to grow exponentially in the next few years. In early 2017, there were about 6.5 million apps available, and almost 3 million are on the Android platform while over 2 million are designed for iOS. In such a dense market, thorough testing and mobile app quality assurance techniques make the difference between an app that receives a lot of praise and one that is quickly uninstalled.

Every developer should aim to create user-centric apps which honestly fulfill the promises in the description. Best practices highlight testing for connectivity and performance, seamless integration with other platforms and excellent compatibility with the most popular devices in the target market. Security and data protection remain the most significant concerns of users, followed by resource consumption.

Mobile Performance and Connectivity

With a decreasing attention span, users demand fast loading, instant reaction, and no interruption of the app during use. Similar to websites, slow or unresponsive apps are abandoned, uninstalled and negatively rated. A way of eliminating such behavior is planning in detail the necessary tests for the app's quality. These should include the most common real-life situations, as well as extreme scenarios.

  • Pay attention to internal and external resources; it’s important to test memory and CPU, as well as app behavior in low battery or low connectivity situations.
  • Work with a broad range of networking scenarios, including EDGE, 3G-4G, Wi-Fi, hotspot tethering and airplane mode.
  • Record the behavior of the app when in range, out of range or changing connectivity source.
  • Test assumptions related to data saving in such situations.

Platform Compatibility Issues

Compatibility of an app with hardware and OS is sometimes a gamble. The possible combinations of the platforms and software are numerous and require time and budget. As Pavel Novik explains, during the first stage of the app's design, by narrowing down the target market, you will also select the most likely devices and OS. Be specific about a user's age, geographical location, and consumer trends when choosing the most suitable devices. Test the resulting list of devices using emulators and cloud testing, which give a good approximation of the behavior for the initial stages. Before deployment, only tests on real devices can ensure perfect replication and bug fixing.

Mobile app quality depends on the specific combination of hardware and operating system. The most common errors are network connectivity, unexpected app closing or freezing, resource consumption, and general stability when the app is running. If the device is overheating, the user is unable to answer incoming calls or push messages don't arrive, fix these bugs before launching the app.